A Snake and A Crab

A Snake was advised by a Crab to give up bad dealings. Snake did not so Crab found the Snake and killed it. Snake should have listened to Crab.

Be frank and open in your dealings.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

There was a familiarity contracted betwixt a snake and a crab. The crab was a plain dealing creature that advis’d his companion to give over shuffling and doubling, and to practice good faith. The snake went on in his old way: so that the crab finding that he would not mend his manners, set upon him in his sleep, and strangled him; and then looking upon him as he lay dead at his length: This had never befall’n ye, says he, if you had but liv’d as straight as you dy’d.


There’s nothing more agreeable in conversation, then a franke open way of dealing, and a simplicity of manners.

1001Cancer et Serpens

Serpens una cum cancro societate iuncta vivebat. Porro cancer, cum simplex moribus esset, serpentem ut is quoque astutiam suam exueret admonebat. At ille minime obsequebatur. Cancer itaque, cum dormientem vidisset, quanta vi poterat compressum chelis occidit. Serpens ita necatus, cum humi porrectus iaceret, “Hoc modo,” cancer ait, “et rectum et simplicem antea te esse oportebat; non enim hanc poenam dedisses.”

Perry #196